Bosch looks to shake up the market with new parking technologies

02.08.2016
Bosch looks to shake up the market with new parking technologies

Finding a space to park your vehicle will not be a headache any more, the all new technology by Bosch will find parking space and even provide you fully automated, driver less parking

The leading supplier of technology and services in mobility, consumer goods, energy, and architecture – External link, is all set to change the dynamics of parking technologies altogether. Out of all the indistries it caters, mobility solutions rank up on the top in terms of sales for the group with an estimated 60 percent (41.7 billion euros) of total sales for the company. Undoubtedly, it is one of the leading suppliers of the automotive goods.

The first footsteps of Bosch’s manufacturing operations are dated as back as 1951. Today, they have grown to include 15 large manufacturing sites and 7 research and development centers. The overall setup of Bosch Group in India is largest outside Germany, employing around 31,000 associates out of which 14,000 belong to R&D itself. There is no wonder that Bosch Technologies has single-handedly been responsible for major advancements in the field – like the parking technology in question.

Technology

Bosch is determined to leave an impactful footprint in various sub-aspects of automotive technologies that include, but are not limited to, injection and powertrain peripherals for engines, vehicle safety systems, driver assistance, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, and aftermarket technologies. But the plans, as announced by Bosch, for automotive technology are bound to make people stop and wonder. Just like a usual Bosch product, these will also be “Invented for life”.

Most of the cars today either come pre-fitted with a parking assistance system and for the ones that don’t, drivers prefer to install an aftermarket system doing similar job for them. Bosch, however, aims to take the game a step ahead to fully automated parking systems. The company’s plans include launching a series of advanced systems in near future that will guide a driver to park while completely avoiding any chances of accidental collision.

These systems are already very famous in Germany, England, Belgium, and Netherlands. Bosch has actually been making these ultrasonic systems that facilitate these features since 1993.

What are Bosch’s future plans?

Firstly, Bosch’s intentions are relieving drivers from the pain of searching for parking through automated parking. They believe that automated parking systems are going to be a part of the vehicles, but their functionality will extend much further, e.g. the infrastructure. Dr. Dirk Hoheisel a member of the board at Bosch GmbH states, “Parking assistance systems lack an integral part of service which is entirely necessary before they can truly be called parking assistance systems – the answer to ‘where to park?’”

This revolutionary technology aims to attain proficiency in the following:

•    Special occupancy sensors in parking lots to detect and report empty spaces turning them into kind of an open street automated parking garage.

•    Further sophisticating the ultrasonic sensor technology and promoting them to be a standard in all the markets Bosch Technologies currently operates in. By further sophistication, Bosch refers to integrating them in a technology that will communicate with occupancy sensors.

•    Making the Bosch Cloud services mainstream that will generate a GUI version of the map with available parking spaces for the end-user/driver.

The technology is definitely a game changer and will help a lot of social and ecological causes but it will be naive to expect these changes instantly. Implementation of technology on such a wide scale will definitely take some time, but there could not be a better time to start because parking is already a big problem in almost all the major cities around the world.

Parking

Particularly in cities, the parking situation is someone that is a major concern for drivers at the moment, and not to mention, it is not so easy on the pocket too. The situation gets even worse when you have to park blocks away from your destination, which is not very uncommon. Finding the right space takes a lot of time and money which can be very annoying. Ideally, a car trip should end up at a parking space. But they are so hard to find in metro cities that it ends up accounting for at least a quarter of the traffic on the roads. If you ask drivers, generally, 99 percent, if not hundred will respond that they need a permanent solution to parking troubles.

Fun Facts about Parking:

•    On an average, drivers aged 55 to 65 park faster than younger drivers.

•    Women park faster than men, but they require more steering movement.

Automated Parking -  The future

It is a completely new market to tap into and Bosch obviously recognizes that. This is also why they are approaching it as any other company from any other industry would in a similar situation – by keeping the product/service standardized and gradually adding value to it. Bosch is simplifying the search for parking spaces and is gradually automating the parking process. Hoheisel and the rest of the board also acknowledge that the technology is very significant and may generate a huge demand in the very first quarter of introduction since the manifesto will definitely be very appealing to the market.

The potential market will definitely include vehicle manufacturers, parking garages seeking out automation, as well as city and community councils around the world. “In FY 2016, our sales in driver assistance will exceed one billion euros,” says Hoheisel.

A huge team of Bosch engineers and associates are working to further develop these smart systems. He also adds, “Searching for an empty parking space is inconvenient, and usually time-consuming and stressful.” Evidently, Bosch has found a way to remove this stress out of drivers’ lives with several modules of their infrastructure and technology planning that will collectively work as an automated parking solution. These are itemized and briefly elaborated individually below:

 

Automated Valet (Smart Parking)

It is not just anticipated anymore but can precisely be predicted that cars will drive themselves and even park in tight spaces on their own by the year 2020. Drivers will simply exit the car outside an automated parking garage and use their smartphone to instruct the car to find a parking space. Similarly, when ready to leave, they can send a command that will bring the car back to handover zone. This will be the world’s very first automatic valet service built into the car. A night out at a concert will start very differently than it does today.

“Parking as we know it today won’t exist in the future,” Hoheisel says, “Fully automated parking will be ready for production before fully automated driving. The mobility of the future starts today – with smart parking” he adds.

Community-based Parking

What makes this solution so special is that your vehicle looks out for any available curbside parking spaces and reports them back to the driver. This information will be available to anyone who is looking for a parking space nearby through a map and will be integrated into the navigation system. This feature will be available to drivers by 2018 at the latest.

Basically, Bosch’s system will be using data provided by vehicles that pass through these spaces and have Bosch ultrasonic sensors installed. So, it is the other drivers (or the community) that are reporting these spots and communicating the information to other cars through their respective vehicle manufacturers usually. This data is then used by Bosch to create a map of available parking spots, which then follows the same path and comes back to the cars.

This saves enormous amounts of time for drivers and also helps reduce the carbon footprint of a city. The drivers can also see on or filter the results with meta information, such as availability of electric charging stations and size of the parking spot.

Home Zone park assist

Hoheisel believes, “Bosch technology is better at parking than most people.” The system automatically corrects for inaccuracies. E.g. If the driver did not leave the car at the saved position and activates Home Zone park assist, the system is able to make up for the difference. The assistant is able to self-correct any variations up to two meters. The park assist can also bring the car out of a garage or even a parking lot, to the desired position, where the driver can simply step in and drive off.

Parking lot management

Other than having sensors installed on the cars, similar sensors will also be installed on parking slots to indicate what spaces are vacant. Since slots are not as frequently crossed by moving vehicles as curb-side parking.

Automatic emergency braking

The sensors installed can scan up to 100 meters in all directions and automatically apply the brakes to the car in the presence of a threat and the driver failing to respond. Important to note, though, that this feature only activates at the speeds of 10 kmph or below.

Other Features:

1.    Smart trailer parking.

2.    Parking aid.

3.    Remote park assists: Vehicles parking themselves automatically.

4.    The multi-camera system around the vehicle.

 

India, in particular, has a long way to go before organized will benefit from services that Bosch can offer. Mr. Karthikeya Joshi, head of marketing and sales, Bosch Chassis Systems India Ltd. is very optimistic about changes to follow in near future, though. He says, “From basic functionalities like park assist to more complex functionalities like park External link control and side view assist the Bosch solution has the ability to deliver it all. At Bosch India, we foresee a rapid adoption of park assist system in the near future.”